Tag Archives: comparison

Writing, researching, & more waiting

I was talking to a writer friend today. She writes novels and is published. I haven’t completed the one I started six years ago during NaNoWriMo. She doesn’t write picture books. I am waiting/hoping to get mine published. It’s a waiting game no matter what you write.

She reminded me to not compare myself to other writers. I needed that reminder – again – because I have been thinking about my picture book submission earlier this week, and that many other writers submitted their manuscripts around the same time. Mine will get read but I will be astonished if it is accepted. Why? Because, I thought, the others will be better stories or more suited to the publisher’s interest, than mine. Through the process of elimination mine will be rejected. I thought, but I don’t KNOW. I’m waiting. My friend is waiting, too, for the next step in the progress of her latest novel.

She said if she were to compare she could be insecure because of my writing. WHAT! No way! Because, she told me, I write multiple stories in one year while she writes a story in about three years.  hmmm  My reply to that is it takes longer for her novel because of the length of her in-depth story and all the research she does for it. No matter if it’s world-building or just capturing a moment or incident, it all takes time and effort to create worlds or scenarios and scenes. It’s all writing. It’s all creative expression. It’s all work. And it’s an exercise in patience – definitely not one of my strengths.

I think writing a good novel (one that gets publish ) is an amazing and exciting accomplishment. I’d love to do that, but I don’t yet know if that is within my abilities. For now I am concentrating on picture books because that’s more where my passion lies in my writing. I have to stop comparing. I have to be who I am as a writer.

Look at this fabulous image I found on Twitter:

writing-research

 

 

 

 

She’s a history professor from the future. She said to just carry on as if she’s not here.

Researching your topic is a very important part of writing your story. Even for the picture book I recently submitted, I researched what the characters would be interested in eating. I like things to be accurate.

I am usually very visual, so as I write a story I see it unfolding before me like a movie. I’ve been told that is quite common to writers. I hear what the characters are saying and what is happening around them, and often what they are feeling and thinking. In fact, here’s another oddity about me — in real life I often see the words people say to me in conversation. I see the words spelled out before me, in my mind’s eye. I wonder if that is an advantage for me in my writing … or if I am just strange.  🙂  

Questions for you:

  1. Do you visualize when writing stories? Do you when people talk to you, the way I see the words spoken to me?
  2. Do you research for your stories, or do you not bother much with the little details? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Quote about comparison

I have been reading a lot more lately and got behind in having this post ready for this morning. It’s a quote I’ve had to think about.

Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can’t win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives. – Jim Collins

Wow!  This is a good quote. I think it is true that when we compare ourselves to others we’re setting the standard of trying to be like them – and feeling ‘less’ because we aren’t meeting that standard. Their successes and accomplishments become our guide. That limits us!

Why do we think that others are better, smarter, cuter, wiser, or … anything-er? WHY?

Maybe because we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t believe the abilities God has placed within us is enough, or good enough.

I have to stop and think about that myself. As a shy person I have to always be pushing myself out there. It can be quite daunting and exhausting. I’m a person who, after being around a lot of people – or even a few people for a long period of time (or what seems a long time) – needs to find a quiet, restful place to replenish my energy. Also, being a caregiver is very draining that way, perhaps more so for someone who is uncomfortable around people all the time. As a writer, I draw back and don’t even allow myself to shine – afraid it won’t be good enough anyway. By what standards, though? (guilty!)

So, my question for you today is … Have you ever found comparison has held you back? If not, has anything? Do you have advice for anyone who struggles with moving forward?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂